About 100 miles north in Wilmington, Delaware, a similar scene took place with Biden and his team, led by longtime Biden aide and debate expert Ron Klain. Biden’s preparation was more traditional – he had mock debates with veteran Democratic attorney Bob Bauer, who played the role of Trump in at least one session.
For two very different men with opposite temperaments and different government philosophies, their debate goals have some basic similarities: Put your opponent in the defense and make it into a referendum over the other as much as possible. Speaking to multiple sources familiar with the preparation of both candidates, each practices how to get under the skin of the other while avoiding blowing up the script and leaving the script when the debate gets personal .
Advisors to both candidates expect one of the night̵
Their hope is that it will deter Biden from his game – either he will blow up or say something wrong.
Biden’s team worked with him to be ready for Trump to pursue his son in a way he no longer had to be as direct as he was before. Trump’s advisors have also spent time working with the president to keep calm when Biden reciprocates by calling Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, both White House aides with no prior government experience. However, a source familiar with Biden’s preparation says his plan is to turn away from the issue and not get involved.
Study past performances
The advisors of both look at the previous debates of the individual candidates in order to prepare for today’s matchup.
If you look at Biden’s debates, it’s clear he has some quirks. Having been told for decades that he was talking too much, he often stops in the middle of a sentence when he sees that his time is up. Some advisors say if he is debating someone like Trump and trying to be polite it can be felt as weak – and should be avoided.
“I think he won’t be polite to someone who’s a terrible bully. I think he’ll be strong. I think he’ll be clear. He should own the stage, right?” This character here, who is a liar and cheat, and has presided over 200,000 deaths, this guy shouldn’t be a president. I should be and here’s why. ‘”said former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, who has prepared Biden for several debates . Granholm is a CNN employee.
She, like other allies in Biden, warns that it would be a mistake to spend too much time checking out the president.
“He can start by saying and recognizing from the start that Donald Trump is a die-hard liar and will lie during this debate, but he just can’t spend all of his time fighting Donald Trump’s lies when he gets his message across and talk to people about what he’s going to do for them. It’s about them, not Donald Trump, “Granholm said.
As for the president, some of his advisors say they hope that his natural tendency to get too personal will rule him.
“I would say not to get too personal and stick to the issues,” said Trump’s 2016 campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.
But Conway added, “You can ask questions, and I was a loud voice, you can question Joe Biden’s readiness for the presidency, his sharpness, agility, perseverance, fair readiness for the job.”
Conway said the president watched videos of Biden’s previous debates and his own debates against Clinton four years ago.
Trump advisors say they think Biden is baffled when he talks about and presents numbers – so they’ve been practicing ways the president can incorporate this into Tuesday night’s debate.
A focus on coronavirus
The way Biden’s advisors see it, a successful initial debate will mean the former Vice President will be on the offensive against Covid-19, the problem that changed the lives of Americans and the Trump presidency.
“So much revolves around Covid. The economy revolves around Covid. Our standing in the world revolves around Covid. The incompetence of this government revolves around Covid. I mean, if he only points out if we had done what Japan Has done, 195,000 of those 200,000 people who are dead would live now? ”Granholm preview, and she hopes Biden will add his secret sauce – empathy – to his answers on the subject.
In preparation for Trump, advisors told CNN, they worked to give him tools to use to hit Biden’s broadsides in the pandemic. As when Biden compares America’s high case numbers with other countries, you sow doubts about the numbers of others.
They are also working with Trump to go beyond his goals, such as restricting travel from China.
“I’d like to see the linchpin for things that people may not know that much about, namely the millions and millions of PSAs that have been provided. The billions of dollars in small business PPP loans,” Conway said .
One of the most difficult tasks in preparing a candidate for political debate is getting them used to the fact that an attack is imminent.
Granholm has been in the room with Biden several times, playing the role of then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whom Biden debated in 2008, pretending to be Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren during this year’s main battle.
“You have to find the toughest things and keep going back to them,” said Granholm.
“You are ready for this and it is not going to make you emotional. This is really important,” she added. .
Conway said that despite the fact that people out of the room have a hard time imagining Trump taking the incoming messages, which really needs to be prepared, he understands the importance and “appreciates the people who ask throw at him “.
“Nobody wants to hear difficult questions on the stage of debate in front of hundreds of millions of people for the first time. You want to hear them beforehand with advisors who you know, who understand the problems, understand politics, and have had a number over the years witnessed debates, “said Conway.